While not a speed demon, the SD4500 is a solid performer. It takes about three seconds to both start up and shut down. Its shot-to-shot time for successive pictures also averages about three seconds. Menu operations are quick and the optical zoom operates smoothly, albeit with the initial hesitation I referred to earlier.
The performance tables show that the SD4500 is a fairly quick operator. Its shutter lag, when pre-focused (when the shutter is pressed halfway down), was negligible at 0.02 seconds. Its auto focus acquisition, the time it takes between pressing the shutter and taking the shot, was 0.49 seconds, a solid middle of the road figure. The SD4500 IS has faster continuous shooting ability than most small Canon cameras, at 3.3 frames per second (8.8 frames per second is possible using high speed burst mode). This is reasonably quick performance.
Shutter Lag (press-to-capture, pre-focused)
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX75||0.01|
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55||0.01|
|Canon PowerShot SD4500||0.02|
|Nikon Coolpix S8000||0.05|
AF Acquisition (press-to-capture, no pre-focus)
|Nikon Coolpix S8000||0.26|
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55||0.28|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX75||0.28|
|Canon PowerShot SD4500||0.49|
|Canon PowerShot SD4500||∞||3.3 fps|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX75||3||2.6 fps|
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55||4||1.9 fps|
|Nikon Coolpix S8000||10||1.2 fps|
As important as quickness is accuracy. The SD4500 is very good in that respect as it rarely failed to find focus, even when shooting in low light or at the long end of the zoom lens.
One area where the SD4500 disappoints, however, is its poor battery life. Canon claims its NP-9L lithium ion battery delivers only 150 shots, which is very short, as most small cameras can shoot at least 200 images. Navigate the menus for a little while and record a movie and you will find your battery charge reduced to 50%. A back-up battery or two is essential if you plan to spend the day taking pictures and movies with the PowerShot SD4500.
This is an area of strength for the Canon SD4500, as I felt the images had a very pleasing combination of sharpness and low distortion, both at the medium zoom and even at the long end of the zoom. I found minimal chromatic aberration, no vignetting and only minor corner blur.
In addition there was virtually no barrel distortion at wide angle or pin cushion distortion at maximum telephoto.
Overall, I was impressed with the lens performance of the SD4500.